Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
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Sydney International: Alex de Minaur wins through to second straight final

Sydney International: Alex de Minaur wins through to second straight final

It was a gutsy performance from the two-time Wimbledon champion who only finished her semi-final against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the early hours of Saturday.

Regardless, it showed world No.15 Barty is ready to challenge anyone at next week's Australian Open.

Fifth seed Alex De Minaur of Australia won the Sydney International tennis tournament title on Saturday, to claim his first career ATP silverware.

"It's surreal. I couldn't think of a better place to get my first win", said De Minaur.

The Australian has been playing fantastic tennis for the last 12 months to finally win a title after he lost 3 finals in 2018 (Sydney, Washington, and Milan).

The 19-year-old Australian assumed control of the match in hot conditions when he broke World No.31 Simon in his first service game, before wrapping up the match in 94 minutes.

"I'm really happy to have won".

Down in the first set and looking in trouble in the second, the two-time Grand slam victor fought her way back to edge out Barty in a three-set thriller 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3).

Alex De Minaur celebrates. "I'm going to do everything in my power to come back in the final and leave it all out there". He'll face Pedro Sousa Monday in Melbourne with a chance at Rafael Nadal in the third round on Friday.

Kvitova had beaten Barty both the previous times they played, including in the Birmingham final in 2017, but she had to dig deep to win her eighth straight final, coming back from an 0-3 deficit in the final set.

Sharma prevailed against countrywoman Priscilla Ho 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in an enthralling contest on the outside courts lasting two hours and nine minutes.

"It's definitely special. I had the opportunity previous year..."

"I wasn't doing too well in the pro circuit and ended up going to Vandy and definitely the coaches there took me under their wing and developed me for a good four, five years", Sharma said.

"A lot of work, a lot of training, a lot of sacrifice goes into even making a final and to get a win, I'm speechless".

The 225th-ranked Hives, a Ballarat native, hammered seasoned American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1, 6-2, while the Germany-born Birrell triumphed 6-4, 6-2 against Paula Badosa Gibert.

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